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On 28th March 2024, the Government launched a safeguarding call for evidence, seeking views on child safeguarding practice in schools and colleges to inform the Department for Education’s safeguarding in schools and colleges policy and future editions of Keeping Children Safe in Education.

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On 8th March 2024, the Ofsted launched their Big Listen. This consultation seeks the views of all areas of their work, from schools and children’s social care to teacher training and early years. 

As previously confirmed, the employer contribution rates of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) will increase by 5 percentage points, from 23.68% to 28.68% from April 2024. 

On 7th March 2024, the DfE released two new non-statutory Governance Guides, one for maintained schools and one for Academy Trusts, replacing the previous Governance handbook that was withdrawn. These new guides will now serve as the primary DfE source of governance information.

Following a consultation over the summer, the government have now published a revised version of Working Together to Safeguard Children.Changes impacting education colleagues are minimal, including the addition of the words ‘help’ and ‘protect’ to the subheading on the front cover, a new chapter entitled ‘A Shared Responsibility’ which strengthens the principles of working with caregivers, the child’s voice and harms outside the home.

Legislation – Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 - has been brought forward to enable minimum service levels to be applied within key sectors in the event of strike action.This new legislation aims to limit the impact on the public when staff are on strike, finding a balance between the ability of unions and their members to strike and the need for the public to access key services during these times. 

The Department for Education has publish non-statutory Gender Questioning Children guidance designed to provide practical advice which schools are expected to follow when making decisions regarding children who are questioning their gender.  As well as publishing the guidance the DfE also launched a consultation and the guidance will not be effective until after feedback from the consultation has been reviewed.

Following the closure of the GMB ballot on 24 October 2023, confirmation from the Local Government Association was received on the afternoon of 1 November 2023 that the pay award for local government services (those employees on ‘Green Book’) has been reached.

The Government has at last published its long awaited response following the consultation on reforms to retained EU employment law and the consultation on calculating holiday entitlement for part-year and irregular hours workers; many people know this as the consultation following the Harpur v Brazel judgement.

In July 2023, following the announcement of the 6.5% teacher pay award, the DfE announced that it would be providing additional funding of up to £40 million as further support to schools in particular financial difficulty.

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